Continental bets big on India, to ramp up headcount

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Mumbai

Continental AG, a German maker of automotive components, plans to invest a “high three-digit crore rupees” within the next two years in India and plans to ramp up the number of employees in the country to 10,000 over the same period, said Frank Jourdan, member of the executive board of Continental and president of the chassis and safety division.

“Today [the company] celebrates its 10th year producing systems and components for safe, clean and intelligent mobility locally in India,” Mr. Jourdan told reporters here on Thursday. “Continental has been serving the Indian market for almost 50 years. This sum [investment] entails the extension of the capacity of all its divisions as well as greenfield investments, spanning across key automotive hubs.

“The global automotive industry is at the cusp of transformation; the largest it may have seen in its 130-year history,” he said.

“We are making investments where it matters. India is an important market and R&D hub for Continental, and it is in our strategy to bet big on this market.”

The 147-year-old company has been present in India for almost 50 years, through technology partnerships (Continental Tires since 1974) and joint ventures for its various businesses. The first Indian independent legal entity was formed in 2008, following the acquisition of Siemens VDO globally.

Currently, the automotive supplier, tyre manufacturer and industrial partner operates across India — with over 8,000 employees across 15 locations, including eight plants that cater to the Indian market, and a technical centre that supports Continental’s global R&D activities.

Prashanth Doreswamy, head of Continental India, said: “With competent resources and proven Continental technologies, the timely investment will propel our localisations efforts for safe, clean and intelligent mobility, for both passenger cars and two-wheeler segments”.

Future readiness is a priority for the manufacturing sector, he added. “When the industry takes giant leap driven by technology, manufacturing has to be at the same pace. Technology adoption is the key.”

“Continental India is upgrading to Industry 4.0 to ensure smarter, more efficient production processes and practices. Our Central Electronics Plant at Bangalore has just deployed the first Collaborative Robot (COBOT), to work in a human-machine team environment.”

“Among our areas of focus in India are safety technologies and powertrain solutions that range from the current legislative requirements to more advanced technologies, electric drives, and products that transform vehicles into digital companions.

“As electronic content in vehicles increases, a number of new and advanced features and technologies may be introduced by the help of Continental, which could be a game changer for the Indian auto sector,” he said.

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